Editor’s Comments: …Start Your Engines

July 12, 2016

It’s a challenge issued to contestants for the hundredth time in this year’s Memorial Day Indianapolis 500, hailed by its organizers as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” This year’s 500-mile race was won by American rookie, Alexander Rossi—in 3 hours, 2 seconds—whose fuel-starved Honda-powered car managed to hold off his teammate, stumbling across the finish line with a scant 4.5 seconds to spare.

While the racers and their cars have moved on to ply their trades at other venues, leaving the Brickyard silent for the moment, you might consider it’s merely gathering its breath for the next great event to take place Wednesday, August 24, when attendees at the joint WASTECON/StormCon expos at downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana Convention Center will have the opportunity to visit the speedway for a the grand networking event sponsored by SWANA’s Hoosier and Buckeye Chapters, and StormCon.

Managing municipal solid waste is more than landfilling: publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy are specialties needed in today’s complex environment. We’ve created a handy infographic featuring 6 tips to improve landfill management and achieve excellence in operations.  6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Download it now!

87 Reasons to Come to WASTECON
You’ll be pleased to know I don’t intend to go through an entire list of which you’re familiar—the exhibit floor, presentations, corridor conversations, training sessions, chapter and technical committee meetings, hosted events, the chance to meet and get to know peers from around the country, and 79 more dynamite opportunities—but I would like to mention three that deserve particular attention: the Young Professionals (YP) organization, SWANA’s National Solid Waste Design Competition (SWDC), and the SWANA Hickman Endowment Internship Program (SHIP)…the coordination of which is under discussion.

SWANA’s YPs represent the future of both the Association, and the solid waste industry as it challenges members to delve into the issues the industry faces today, for which they will assume responsibility to develop and implement solutions in the course of their careers. Among programs the YPs host is SWDC, a college/university student team competition to solve a “real world” problem faced by solid waste professionals. Through this effort, the SWANA’s YP Initiative seeks to draw students into a greater understanding and appreciation of the career opportunities available within the solid waste management field.

Managing municipal solid waste is more than landfilling: publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy are specialties needed in today’s complex environment. We’ve created a handy infographic featuring 6 tips to improve landfill management and achieve excellence in operations. 6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Download it now!  

SHIP was established in 1996 to honor Lanny and Kay Hickman (Lanny, the retired Executive Director of SWANA and Kay, the retired Meetings Director) for their many years of service to the Association and the field of solid waste management. As stated in its charter, “The purpose of the SHIP is to provide an opportunity for selected college and university students to integrate classroom skills with a supervised work experience including, but not limited to, investigative and analytical research, writing brief documents, and the development of technical reports.”

In 2015 when a YP initiative created the SWDC, Lanny and Kay proposed that in order to provide increased financial support, and as an encouragement to others to add theirs to the initiative, the Endowment would make an annual contribution to the National SWDC, the amount not to exceed 7% of the balance of the Endowment, while allowing the YP Initiative to retain oversight and control of the SWDC. Additional proposals addressed opportunities for opening up avenues for funding by wedding the endowment with the scholarship programs of the chapters.

Earlier this year, SWANA issued a Management and Administrative Practices Policy Position (MA-28) to the Association’s Executive Committee soliciting its review and comments, pertinent details of which are:

The SHIP will name a representative to the YPI-SWDC Management Committee to participate in identification and refinement of the problem statement to be addressed by the student teams and serve as a judge for the SWDC.

Also, a committee of the SHIP and SWDC management team will monitor competitors to identify 1–2 students annually that, because of outstanding contributions, may qualify for additional tuition assistance through a SWDC Research Project Opportunity in which up to two students per competition may be ­offered tuition assistance to work on a separate MSW research projects conducted under the oversight of a college or university professor and qualify as a capstone or similar project for credit via the college or university. The selected student(s) must agree to present research findings in conjunction with the SWDC in the year following project completion.

Getting behind programs supporting the waste industry’s long-range outreach initiatives is essential if we are to be successful in making college and university students—their professors as well—aware that waste management is a challenging and professionally rewarding career, one that often is overlooked in the profusion of choices facing them in today’s academic environment.
About the Author

John Trotti

John Trotti is the Group Editor for Forester Media.

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